Philadelphia has named city planner Ashley Richards as its first-ever urban agriculture director. Richards will direct the creation and implementation of Philadelphia’s forthcoming urban agriculture plan.
Richards got their start as a planner in New York, where they facilitated the creation of an urban farm cooperative led by Black and Latinx Bronx residents. Most recently, Richards was working for the Philadelphia City Planning Commission on development issues in North Philadelphia.
Richards, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s city planning program, also served as co-chair of the city’s Food Policy Advisory Council Urban Agriculture subcommittee. Their new role will be based in the Parks and Recreation Department and linked to its urban agriculture program, FarmPhilly.